The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Tehran Times

Top UN Official Laments Loss of Zimbabwe's White Farmers

HARARE -- A top UN official Saturday lamented the loss of white commercial
farmers in Zimbabwe, evicted under a government land reform scheme while up
to eight million people in the country are threatened by famine.

James Morris, the UN's special envoy on humanitarian needs in Southern
Africa, told a press conference that he was aware that "a highly productive
part of the (Zimbabwean) agricultural community is no longer engaged in
agricultural production".

Most of Zimbabwe's white commercial farmers, who numbered 4,500 three years
ago, have had their land seized by the government under a controversial land
reform program.

"That's a real loss to this country and to the rest of the world," Morris

Aid agencies have blamed the controversial land reforms for contributing,
along with a severe drought, to the current critical food shortages in
Zimbabwe. The government says the drought is entirely to blame.

The envoy, who visited feeding schemes for hungry children in a low-income
suburb of Harare early Saturday, also denied reports carried in the
state-controlled Herald newspaper that he had endorsed land reform. The
paper, which interviewed Morris after he met with President Robert Mugabe on
Friday, reported the envoy had accepted "the irreversibility of land reform
in essence."

Morris, who is also director of the UN's World Food Program (WFP) told
reporters at a press conference that the Herald "absolutely, 100 percent
misrepresented what I said".

He said he had only commented on the importance of "a really, vigorous,
robust agricultural economy" for Zimbabwe and the region.

Morris and his delegation, who have been in the country since Thursday, have
held talks with Mugabe, aid agencies, government ministers and the

Included in their discussions was how to return food security to Zimbabwe,
Morris said.

The UN food agency estimates that only 30 percent of the country's
productive land has been planted this season, while production of maize, the
staple food, is officially reported to have fallen by 60 percent.

"This country has been so important to all of Southern Africa over the
years -- at one time enough food was produced here to feed nearly all of
Southern Africa," Morris said.

Morris is on a tour of the stricken Southern African region, where more than
15 million people in six countries including Zimbabwe, are affected. (AFP)
CAPTION United Nations special envoy James Morris, greets mothers and
children at a feeding center in Dzivararesekwa about six miles from Harare,
Zimbabwe Saturday Jan. 25, 2003.
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Washington Times

Zimbabwe opposition chief seeks U.S. envoy
By Geoff Hill

     JOHANNESBURG - Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), wants President Bush to send a special
envoy to Zimbabwe. Top Stories
      . Powell ties Saddam regime to al Qaeda
      . Computer worm not fully on hook yet

     "I would say to President Bush that he has done good work in sending
special envoys to trouble spots around the world," Mr. Tsvangirai said in an
interview with The Washington Times.
     "It is now time to send a special envoy to Zimbabwe."
     Mr. Tsvangirai said that he would be happy to discuss his country's
political crisis with a representative of the U.S. president, and that such
an initiative could advance efforts to restore democracy.
     In the past three years, a coercive land-reform program has seen all
but 600 of Zimbabwe's 5,000 white commercial farmers forced off their land -
contributing to a famine that the United Nations says has left 7 million
people in need of food aid this year.
     Another 2 million black Zimbabweans have fled to neighboring South
Africa as human rights groups accuse Zimbabwe's police, army and
intelligence service of widespread torture and extrajudicial killings.
     On the economic front, the local currency trades on the street at 1,800
to the dollar, though the government refuses to devalue from the official
rate of 55.
     President Robert Mugabe, 78, won another seven years in office last
year in elections tainted by widespread reports of intimidation and
political violence by Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party. The United States
and some other Western governments refused to recognize the result.
     Mr. Tsvangirai said in the interview that he would be willing to
discuss the idea of an exit plan for Mr. Mugabe and the setting up of an
interim government whose sole task would be to restore law and order and
arrange fresh elections.
     "I think that such a solution would be a matter of convenience to all
parties," he said. "The only way forward is to have a real, free election in
     "But I would want the election to be supervised internationally. We
have never had a free and fair election in this country."
     In December, a retired officer from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA),
Col. Lionel Dyck, held talks with Mr. Tsvangirai, reportedly at the request
of armed forces chief Gen. Vitalis Zvinavashe and parliamentary Speaker
Emmerson Mnangagwa.
     Mr. Tsvangirai revealed details of the discussion this month, saying he
had been asked whether he would join a coalition government after which Mr.
Mugabe would retire and possibly go into exile.
     Gen. Zvinavashe and Mr. Mnangagwa subsequently denied any knowledge of
Col. Dyck's initiative, but Mr. Tsvangirai said he was convinced that they
knew about the talks.
     "I am quite certain that no one could have made up this story in his
imagination and then approached me," he said. "At the very least, Mnangagwa
and Zvinavashe were consulted before anyone spoke to me. ...
     "There have been no further approaches since I went public with the
story, and I doubt that there will be," he added. "I think those gates are
     Mr. Mnangagwa is widely seen as Mr. Mugabe's chosen successor as leader
of ZANU-PF, which has governed Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
     In recent weeks, Mr. Tsvangirai has made several speeches indicating
his willingness to work with the ZNA and the rest of the country's armed
forces even though the MDC has accused the police and army of torturing and
killing its members.
     But a source inside ZANU-PF said the reported initiative by Mr.
Mnangagwa and Gen. Zvinavashe had opened up "a war of succession around
     He said the contenders included Defense Minister Sydney Sekeramayi,
former Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa, who lost his seat in the 2000
general election, and a retired general, Solomon Mujuru.
     "All of them are at odds with Mugabe over the direction in which he is
taking the country, and they don't see Mnangagwa as the best man to take
over the job," the source said. "And they feel that Zvinavashe would
probably have to retire. Given the role the military has played keeping
Mugabe in power, it's possible the donor community would not be keen to see
him running the army."
     Meanwhile, the government is pushing ahead with a treason trial in
which Mr. Tsvangirai is accused of plotting to kill the president. The case
opens at the High Court in Harare next month.
     The charge arose from a videotape first aired on Australian television
early last year purportedly showing the opposition leader discussing an
assassination plot with a Canadian public-relations company which, it
transpired, was working for ZANU-PF.
     The MDC leader says he is confident that the court will clear him of
all charges.
     "My information is that the government is not all that confident about
the case any more. They have used the issue to confiscate my passport and so
prevent me from traveling outside Zimbabwe. But I think that all this has
done is to show the world what kind of government we are dealing with here."
     His lawyer said last week that the tapes were "inaudible."
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 Four EU nations object to Mugabe's Paris visit
            January 27, 2003, 06:30

            Four European Union (EU) nations raised objections on Saturday
to France's plans to invite Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to Paris next
month in defiance of a travel ban and want to discuss the issue today.

            Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany registered their
objections just before an EU deadline at midday (1100GMT), according to a
diplomatic source.

            France asked its EU partners on Thursday to grant the temporary
exemption from the ban to allow Mugabe to attend the Franco-African meeting
on February 19-21. It fears other African nations would boycott the summit
if Mugabe is not also invited.

            Britain, which has spearheaded EU measures against its former
colony, had previously indicated it would not block the Paris visit in the
interests of having wider sanctions renewed.

            EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss in Brussels today
whether to renew the sanctions, which include a travel ban on Mugabe and his
senior officials over alleged trampling of democracy and human rights.

            If the four nations refuse to allow Mugabe to visit Paris,
France could well decide to block the renewal of sanctions, which are due to
expire on February 18.

            Washington on Friday called the French invitation to Mugabe
"regrettable" and urged EU countries to effectively enforce the travel ban
on Zimbabwean leaders.

            The ban was imposed last year to protest against March elections
the EU and United States considered illegitimate and in response to the
confiscation of white-owned farms under Mugabe's land redistribution
system. - Reuters
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"Mbeki Should Tell US What He's Going to Do About Zim": Leon

South African Press Association (Johannesburg)

January 26, 2003
Posted to the web January 27, 2003


Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon said on Sunday President Thabo Mbeki
should tell South Africans what he planed on doing regarding the situation
in Zimbabwe.

In a statement Leon said: "As complete disaster looms ever nearer in
Zimbabwe, there has still been no change in course from the president.

"As the spectre of perhaps hundreds of thousands of starving refugees
flooding into South Africa looks more and more inevitable, perhaps Mr Mbeki
should take South Africans into his confidence and reveal his plan for
sorting this out."

Leon said the South African Institute of International Affairs has warned
that Zimbabwe's economy was six months away from total collapse.

"It says there is an increasing risk of massive unrest that could spill over
into the whole of southern Africa.

"We've had the African National Congress' quiet diplomacy for three years
now, and things have only got worse. Mr Mbeki must have a plan to stave off
Zimbabwe's collapse, and he owes it to South Africans to tell us what it is.

"It is, of course possible that there is no plan, that the ANC's Zimbabwe
policy is motivated only by blind loyalty to Zanu-PF. It is getting harder
to escape this conclusion as the months pass with no action against the
Mugabe regime which daily makes clear its contempt for the outside world and
for South Africa."

Leon said Mbeki should be taking the lead on Zimbabwe instead of offering
gratuitous advice to the world on the dangers of war in Iraq.

"The president should remember that the consequences of a meltdown in
Zimbabwe will be far worse for South Africa than a conflict in the Middle

He said "another great danger in our government's appalling attitude not
just of compliance with Mugabe but often of actual support, is that this
gravely undermines not only respect for South Africa internationally but
investor confidence in this government's respect for property rights."

"Mr Mbeki's attitude has resulted in Zimbabwe's opposition dismissing South
Africa's role as an honest broker, which will have grave consequences for
our ability to help solve Zimbabwe's problems.

"The longer the ANC does and says nothing, the more it will be seem to be
without a clue on how to solve the crisis. Mr Mbeki should tell us what he's
going to do," Leon said.
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America's crude tactics

Of all the rogue states in the world it is Iraq's oil that makes it a target

Larry Elliott
Monday January 27, 2003
The Guardian

Let's get one thing straight. George Bush's determination to topple Saddam
Hussein has nothing to do with oil. Iraq may account for 11% of the world's
oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia, but the military build-up in the
Gulf is about making the world a safer and more humane place, not about
allowing America's motorists to guzzle gas to their heart's content. So,
lest you should be in any doubt, let me spell it out one more time. This.
Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. Oil. Got that?
Of course you haven't. Despite what Colin Powell might say, it takes a
trusting, nay naive, soul to imagine that the White House would be making
all this fuss were it not that Iraq has something the US needs. There are
plenty of small, repressive states in the world - Zimbabwe for one - where
the regimes are being allowed to quietly kill and torture their people.
There are plenty of small, repressive states with weapons of mass
destruction - North Korea, for example - which appear to pose a larger and
more immediate threat to international security. But only with Iraq do you
get a small, repressive country with weapons of mass destruction that also
happens to be floating on oil.

Moreover, the realities of oil dependency are catching up with the world's
biggest economy. The US has long ceased to be self-sufficient in oil and, as
the recent shutdown of Venezuela's refineries has proved, is therefore
vulnerable to its imported supplies being cut off. The growing imbalance
between the global demand for oil and discoveries of fresh supplies means
that the outlook for the US is even more troubling than it appears. As the
director of ExxonMobil, Harry Longwell, admitted in an article for World
Energy last year, the discovery of oil peaked in the mid-1960s but demand is
expected to continue growing by 2% a year - or the world is sucking oil out
of the ground faster than corporations are finding it.

Three choices

Bush and his team know all this. They have worked for the oil industry, been
bankrolled by the oil industry, and have spent the past couple of years
listening hard to what the oil industry would like, then doing it. Faced
with the prospect that on current trends the gap between demand and supply
will widen inexorably, Bush has three choices. Firstly, he could listen to
the lobbying of executives like Longwell, who are convinced that there is
still plenty of oil out there provided the exploration teams are given the
freedom to find. That is why Bush has been prepared to court the wrath of
the environmental lobby in the US to sanction exploration and extraction in
the wilds of Alaska.

The second option is to ensure that the US secures a bigger share of
diminishing stocks, buying time in which consumption can continue at its
present rate. The seizure intact of Iraqi oil fields is a prime war aim of
the US in any conflict, and it is likely that once Saddam has been toppled
and an army of occupation has control of the country, the big oil companies
will be called in to modernise the country's decrepit oil infrastructure.
There have been reports in the Wall Street Journal, denied by the
administration, that Dick Cheney held discussions last October with
ExxonMobil and other firms about the rehabilitation of Iraq's oil industry.
It stretches credulity somewhat to imagine that the subject has never been

In one sense, such an outcome would be no bad thing. A modernisation
programme that increased the supply of oil through more efficient production
would lead to lower global prices and stronger growth. It might also be
environmentally less damaging. Nor, lest we are tempted to get too prissy
about this, can it be denied that economic factors have played a big, even
crucial role, in determining the diplomatic and military strategy of
European countries down the centuries.

But while the Bush strategy has its rationale, it is fraught with risks. One
is that the war will not lead to the collapse in oil prices that is
predicted by the hawks in Washington. Should the conflict follow the example
of 1991, crude could fall quickly to around $20 a barrel. Or prices could
hit $50 a barrel if Saddam torches the Iraqi fields and manages to land a
couple of Scuds on refineries in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The possibility that an American occupation of the Middle East will
destablise the whole region, putting pressure on the autocratic rulers of
western client states is a second, perhaps greater threat. It would be a
bitter irony if the US found itself in possession of 11% of the world's
known reserves only to find that the 25% in Saudi had been seized by a
regime with no love for America. Worryingly for Bush, there have already
been signs that investors in the Gulf states have been withdrawing their
assets from the US, helping to keep shares on Wall Street depressed and
contributing in no small measure to the dollar's recent fall. This would
turn into a rout should the oil-producing states decide that crude should be
denominated in euros rather than greenbacks, a development that has already
been canvassed publicly by Opec.

Common sense

The third choice for the US and the rest of the developed world is to tackle
the imbalance between demand and supply from the other end - by limiting
demand rather than by increasing supply. Most governments, including that in
Washington, acknowledge the need to take steps to curb emissions of
greenhouse gases, and a blueprint for this, known as contraction and
convergence, is available. It would involve setting a safe global ceiling on
carbon dioxide and the calculation of the emissions consistent with hitting
it; providing equal shares of the global emissions budget for each country
so that poor countries were not short-changed; and allowing emissions
trading in which countries like the US could pay countries like Malawi to
pay for the right to pollute by more than the share allocated to the
developed world.

The first problem is political will. Britain's forthcoming energy bill
should embrace contraction and convergence, but Whitehall conservatism means
a golden opportunity will be lost without political backing from the very
top. As Alex Evans of the left-leaning IPPR think tank said last week in a
paper on the UK electricity industry, the government needs to focus less on
setting targets and more on delivery. Evans says that there would be a
dramatic fall in emissions and endless opportunities for business if the
government took steps to increase energy efficiency by 20% and to commit
itself to producing 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

This will be costly, both in terms of money and effort. But wars, too, are
costly. The real lesson of the struggle against Iraq is that the depletion
of non-renewable energy resources is a problem that will be persist long
after the butcher of Baghdad is dead and buried.
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Business Day

      The complicated truth about Zimbabwe


      THERE is no doubt that Zimbabwe is experiencing accelerated democratic
reversal since the ruling party, Zanu (PF), failed to get a positive result
in the 2000 constitutional referendum.

      The rejection of the proposed constitution by Zimbabweans marked the
onset of political panic on the part of President Robert Mugabe and his
party, and ushered in the politically cynical policy of land invasions and
the current phase of repressive rule.

      But the possibility exists that the seeds of Mugabe's despotism and
authoritarian rule were planted soon after the formal death of settler
colonialism. Is it not interesting albeit with the benefit of hindsight that
one of the first things Mugabe did not do was to lift Ian Smith's state of

      In fact, the brutality and excesses of the Fifth Brigade in
Matebeleland were a harbinger of the political and economic nightmare that
Zimbabweans now confront.

      This, unfortunately, has become the only truth about Zimbabwe that
many in SA and the west are prepared to hear. Discourse on Zimbabwe is
dominated by an attempt to define rational opinion only in terms of views
that are critical of Mugabe, and the exclusion of other truths.

      In SA there is conflicting opinion about Zimbabwe. On one side, some
mainly white South Africans and former Rhodesians seem happy about Zanu
(PF)'s political dementia, but are unhappy that their racist conceptions of
life under a black government have not found confirmation in SA , despite
their prophecies.

      On another side are black and white South Africans who bemoan the
erosion of democracy out of a genuine concern for the future of Zimbabwe.

      Completing the triangle of opinion is a set of views, held mainly by
black people, who are uncritical in their support for Mugabe, sometimes as a
result of what they see as racism posing as concern about the rule of law.

      Because real and long-lasting solutions seldom come from a selective
confrontation of convenient truths, it is important that analyses of the
Zimbabwean crisis take into account the multifarious nature of its truths.

      There can be no ambiguity in the condemnation of state violence and
attacks on freedom of expression and the media.

      We must acknowledge that the political and economic mismanagement
resulting in the economy shrinking by 23% in three years, an imprudent land
reform policy and the possible starvation of six million people is

      At the same time we must resist the temptation to ignore the fact that
1,2million communal households were squeezed into 15,4-million hectares of
land while just under 5000 white farmers owned 12-million hectares.

      In addition Britain cannot absolve itself of its broken promise, which
has led to the deepening land crisis.

      Questions must be asked about how much of Britain's policy towards the
Zanu (PF) regime was motivated by a desire to dislodge Mugabe from the
Democratic Republic of Congo, leaving the way open for British allies,
Uganda and Rwanda, to frustrate the economic interests of the
Mugabesupporting Chirac government.

      Another truth about Zimbabwe is that it needs a carefully managed
transition to democracy, encompassing an exit strategy for Mugabe and the
containment of the defence force.

      This raises questions about the options facing Zanu (PF), the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), and army generals.

      There might come a time when the interests of Zanu (PF) do not
coincide with those of Mugabe. This could result from a pact between
political elites from the ruling party and the opposition, forcing Zanu (PF)
to reinvent itself by using Mugabe as a scapegoat.

      Faced with the choice of saving their political careers or supporting
a discredited revolutionary, there is no prize for guessing which way senior
Zanu (PF) leaders would go.

      If the opposition decides to reject the option of a pact that will
result in a government of national unity as a step towards fresh elections,
they will have to design a strategy that takes into account the reality that
levels of resistance inside Zimbabwe are low.

      The fact that they are supported by an opposition media that is
sometimes as unreliable as the state media in its lack of objectivity,
should not blind the MDC and other opposition forces to the tactical
weaknesses that have led to dismal support for general strikes over the past
few months.

      In addition, they must not undermine the capacity of the army to
destabilise the country if the fears of the generals are not accommodated.

      If a deal one that will protect Mugabe from prosecution and the
seizure of his assets excludes generals from protection against a truth and
reconciliation process, the hope of an imminent end to Zimbabwe's woes will
be shattered.

      The ultimate truth about Zimbabwe is that no amount of external
pressure will yield the desired results unless the levels of popular
resistance within the country increase considerably.

      Matshiqi is an independent political analyst

      Jan 27 2003 12:00:00:000AM Aubrey Matshiqi Business Day 1st Edition
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Monday, 27 January, 2003, 03:06 GMT
EU to decide on Mugabe trip
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe is banned from travelling to EU countries
European Union foreign ministers are due to decide on Monday whether they will renew sanctions against the government of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

The current sanctions include a travel ban on senior government figures, but France has asked Mr Mugabe attend a Franco-African summit in Paris next month, an invitation which has angered several countries.

France says EU sanctions against Zimbabwe still allow officials to attend meetings in Europe if there is a focus on human rights and democracy.

The EU travel ban, along with a freeze on Mr Mugabe's assets, was imposed last February as violence flared in the run-up to a presidential election which was later widely condemned as unfair.

Second summit

Britain is one of several countries which want to keep Mr Mugabe out, but there are fears that if the Zimbabwean leader is prevented from travelling to Paris, France will allow the entire sanctions regime to lapse, says the BBC's Brussels correspondent, Chris Morris.

Voters wait in line outside a polling station last year
There were grave concerns about last year's elections
Sanctions are due to expire on 18 February, just one day before the Franco-African summit begins.

France argues other African nations would boycott the summit if Mr Mugabe is not invited.

There were already concerns about Mr Mugabe attending an EU-Africa summit in April before the latest dilemma arose.

This had led to some EU members seeking a compromise that would have seen Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge attend the summit in Lisbon in his place - although the minister would also need a travel waiver.

Divisions persist

On the day that the chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix is due to present his report to the Security Council, the ministers will also try to find some common ground on policy towards Iraq.

There will be a separate meeting in Brussels involving Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which all currently sit on the UN Security Council.

They are expected to give strong public support to the UN weapons inspectors, but on the issue of whether and when to follow Washington to war, the EU is as divided as ever, says our correspondent.

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Daily News

      Foreigners arrested

      1/27/2003 4:16:18 PM (GMT +2)

      By Foster Dongozi

      Five foreigners believed to be partners of the Lutheran World
Federation (LWF), a Christian developmental organisation, were searched and
had part of their luggage confiscated by the police in Zvishavane on Friday
night before being placed under "house arrest" at a hotel.

      Three Zimbabweans, a Daily News reporter, Fanuel Jongwe, 30, and two
drivers from the Lutheran Development Services (LDS), were also caught in
the net, but had not been charged by last night.

      The LDS oversees the federation's developmental projects in the
Midlands and Matabeleland South provinces. Reports in the State-controlled
Sunday Mail suggested that the five were journalists on a mission to write
stories to tarnish the image of the government, while those close to the
delegation said the five worked for radio stations and magazines.

      The foreigners - one each from the United States, Kenya, Finland and
two German citizens - were still at the Hotel Nilton by last night. "We were
ordered not to leave the hotel," said Jongwe, who was supposed to cover the

      Although police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena,
declined to comment, he told a British news agency, Reuters, that the group
had not been arrested.

      "Technically they are not under arrest, but we picked them up on
information that they entered the country under false pretences, declaring
that they were working for some aid agency and they had come to monitor food

      "Our laws say foreign journalists must apply to come here. These
journalists also have some interesting documents suggesting they could be on
some clandestine mission."

      Bvudzijena said if the group was charged, "we could charge them for

      entering the country under false pretences or under the Public Order
and Security Act, while the local journalist could be charged with assisting
in contravening national laws."

      If it emerges that the five were pursuing legitimate business, the
incident has the potential to set back projects such as food distribution,
orphan care, combating HIV, and the construction of dams and bridges in the
drought-prone Midlands and Matabeleland South.

      A spokesman for the United States Embassy in Harare, Bruce Wharton,
said: "We saw the story in The Sunday Mail and we have established that one
American citizen has been detained or arrested in Zvishavane."

      Although the foreigners were said to have been detained in police
custody, it emerged that they were only ordered not to leave the hotel.

      The delegation was supposed to tour projects in Gwanda and Zvishavane
before proceeding to Malawi, where they have similar projects for
underprivileged communities.

      The tour could not proceed because of the curtailment of their

      Sources close to the delegation said the tour was to obtain an
appraisal of the problems facing the communities before the LWF holds its
10th assembly in Winnipeg, Canada, in July.

      The theme for the summit is "Healing of the World". Appreciation of
the problems facing the poor communities would have helped donors get a
clear picture of the required funding for the projects.

      Zimbabwe is already under the international spotlight for human rights
violations. Speaking from Zvishavane yesterday, Jongwe said their ordeal
started on Friday at about 10pm, when they checked into the Hotel Nilton.
"Detectives came to the hotel and accused the delegation of being on a
political mission. They took away a laptop computer, cameras, notebooks and

      Jongwe said they were taken to Zvishavane Police Station where they
were questioned until just before midnight. On Saturday morning, they
returned to the police station for
      further questioning.

      Describing Jongwe's "house arrest", Gugulethu Moyo, the legal adviser
for Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the publishers of The Daily News,
said: "The police had no basis for confiscating his notebook. It was the
usual harassment and violation of human rights which they continue to do."

      An LWF official yesterday drove to Zvishavane to seek clarification on
the status of the five workers.

      Last night, Jongwe said they were asked to make statements to the
police at Zvishavane Police Station this morning.
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Daily News

      Relatives demand probe into MDC official's death

      1/27/2003 4:20:30 PM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      RELATIVES of Samson Showano Kombo, the late MDC chairman for Makoni
East constituency, are demanding an impartial investigation into his death,
saying they suspect foul play.

      Kombo, 51, died on Monday at Rusape General Hospital. He was among the
15 MDC members allegedly abducted by a group of war veterans and Zanu PF
youths following the petrol-bombing of the offices of the ex-fighters and
the houses of Zanu PF activists in Rusape last November.

      Arnold Tsunga, a lawyer representing Kombo's relatives, wrote to the
officer-in-charge of Rusape district saying: "Our clients are suspicious of
the circumstances of Kombo's death and suspect foul play.

      "We understand Kombo was severely assaulted by some militia or war
veterans linked to Zanu PF on or about 13 November 2002 on suspicion of
being involved in the alleged bombing of Zanu PF offices in Rusape. "The
relatives are treating the case as homicide which warrants a full and
impartial investigation. "In the circumstances, we are under instructions to
demand as we hereby do that you cause a thorough investigation of the matter
with a view to arresting and prosecuting the culprits. The family demands a
thorough and impartial post-mortem."

      One MDC member, who was identified by opposition party officials as
John Marunganise, was shot in the leg during the abduction.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF officials accused of abusing GMB facility

      1/27/2003 4:21:52 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Zanu PF officials in Concession have been accused by residents of
abusing the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) maize grain distribution facility by
discriminating against non-party supporters.

      The residents said identified Zanu PF officials in Dendamera district
collected money from them four months ago, promising to buy them maize grain
from the GMB.

      But when the maize was brought to Dendamera community hall, the Zanu
PF officials withheld some of the bags, short-changing about 320 residents
who had contributed to the purchase of the maize grain.

      A resident who refused to be identified, said he was part of the crowd
which gathered at the hall last Monday to collect the maize grain. "They
refused to sell all the maize, saying it was reserved for their party
cadres. People then reported the matter to the police."

      Residents said following the report, the police raided the hall on
Wednesday afternoon and confiscated about 70 bags of yellow maize grain.

      People who witnessed the confiscation said two police vehicles ferried
the maize to Concession Police Station.

      A Constable Chitanda drove one of the vehicles. After the seizure, the
police reportedly invited a woman identified only as Muchenje, the Zanu PF's
women's league chairperson and the councillor, identified only as Bangwayo,
to the police station to explain the problems surrounding the maize.

      Petros Chanetsa, a resident of Dendamera, said they paid $580 for a
50kg bag of maize, $350 for a 20kg bag, and an addition $100 to the Zanu PF
officials. Chanetsa said they were shocked when the police later transferred
the confiscated maize grain to the house of Brighton Mupetamera, the Zanu PF
youth secretary in the district.

      They had expected the consignment to be taken to a neutral venue. "We
thought the police would intervene and ensure that we get the maize-meal,"
he said. "Instead, they sought to please Zanu Pf officials and allow them to
continue with their partisan and corrupt sale of scarce maize."

      When The Daily News visited the area last Thursday, several identified
Zanu PF officials were seen leaving Mupetamera's house with bags of maize.

      Mupetamera said they were distributing the maize only to people who
appeared on their lists.

      A constable at Concession Police Station said the maize was returned
to the Zanu PF officials after an agreement with the officer-in-charge.
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Daily News

      Polytech fails to open for fourth time

      1/27/2003 4:23:53 PM (GMT +2)

      From Oscar Nkala in Gwanda

      THE proposed Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic in Gwanda has failed to open
as scheduled - for the fourth time in two years.

      Local politicians now suspect the project was a vote-catching gimmick
by Zanu PF ahead of the presidential election in 2002. According to the
government's initial announcement made towards the end of 2000, the college
would open in January 2002.

      The opening was later rescheduled to September of the same year, but
it did not take place. The authorities then said it would open the next
month in October When the October 2002 deadline passed, prospective students
were assured that the college would open at the same time as other colleges
in January this year.

      With only one week to go before the end of January, and three weeks
after other colleges opened, the authorities at the Joshua Mqabuko Polytech
are still struggling to work out its functional structures.

      Sources within the college's interim committee said the project was
still a long way from being implemented.

      One source said: "The problem is there is no infrastructure, no
lecturers and no equipment for technical courses.

      "The Ministry of Higher Education and Technology has not employed any
lecturers for the college. I believe that politicians are making premature
announcements just to contain public anger."

      In 2001, a number of committee members suggested the college's
technical divisions would use buildings at the District Development Fund's
provincial training centre.

      Other branches would operate from various locations, including the Old
Gwanda Zintec College. Petros Mukwena, a Gwanda politician, said the shift
in the opening dates was proof that it was a political gimmick to help Zanu
PF win all crucial elections last year.

      "This thing was simply rushed through to mislead the electorate," he

      He said it was also not clear how Gwanda Zintec College could be
converted overnight into a polytechnic when there is no staff and
infrastructure in place. He accused the Ministry of Higher Education and
Technology of maintaining a suspicious silence on the progress or lack of it
concerning the opening of the college.

      Although the principal, Mathamsanqa Dube, was not available for
comment, his deputy, named only as Mutubuki, said the polytechnic would open
very soon.

      Mutubuki said: "We will be placing a Press advertisement calling for
both lecturers and students sometime this week. "As far as we are concerned,
all is going well."
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Daily News

      Ex-Amani boss denies Allegations

      1/27/2003 4:24:35 PM (GMT +2)

      Political Editor

      ANTHONY Reeler, the former director of Amani Trust, has denied
allegations in the State media that the organisation's vehicle was used in
the alleged petrol-bombing of a Zanu PF base in Kuwadzana.

      The bombing led to the death from severe burns of a suspected Zanu PF
activist as tension rises ahead of a parliamentary by-election pitting
Nelson Chamisa (MDC) and David Mutasa (Zanu PF).

      The NGO closed its Harare offices last year after repeated threats by
the government, which said it was not properly registered.

      Reeler said allegations his organisation was involved were not true.
"These allegations are wholly unfounded, but consistent with the continuous
attacks that have been mounted against the Trust over the past year," he

      He said that because of State media reports linking an Amani Trust
vehicle to the bombing, he had received reports that there were plans to
fire-bomb the organisation's offices in Harare.

      He said this threat must be taken very seriously in view of the
attacks in the past on The Daily News offices and printing press and those
of the Voice of the People, a private radio station whose offices were
bombed last year.

      No one has been arrested in all cases and the police say they are
still investigating.
      "There must therefore be concern for the safety of the staff and
Trustees of the Amani Trust, and we hope that calls will be made upon the
government of Zimbabwe to protect its citizens against unlawful attack,"
said Reeler.

      "The Trust unreservedly denies that it would have any part in violent
action of any kind, and has always stressed its non-partisan position as a
human rights organisation."

      Reports in the State media said three vehicles were linked to the
attack, one of them belonging to Amani Trust.

      The government accused the Trust of operating safe houses in various
high-density suburbs for MDC youths on the Police Wanted list. Meanwhile,
the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said it condemned efforts by the government
to try and place blame for the attack on the Amani Trust.

      The Coalition said it had it on sound authority that Amani Trust
vehicles are grounded without fuel and were therefore nowhere near Kuwadzana
on the fateful night.
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Daily News

      Chirac joins conspiracy against Zimbabwe

      1/27/2003 4:25:35 PM (GMT +2)

      THE French president, Jacques Chirac, may fancy himself as an African
expert or a friend of Africa. Last week, he appeared to have scored a
remarkable feat of peace-making when he brought together the warring
factions in the civil war in the Ivory Coast, a former French colony.

      President Laurent Gbagbo's government - unable to quell a rebellion in
the northern part of the country after an attempted coup last September -
agreed to a power-sharing arrangement with the rebels.

      But anti-French demonstrations broke out in Abidjan soon after the
accord was announced in Paris. Gbagbo's people feel betrayed by the French,
who have 2 500 troops in the former colony.

      In the next few days Chirac and his government will know whether their
intervention has brought permanent peace to the Ivory Coast, or sown the
seeds of another civil war.

      Chirac's invitation to President Mugabe to attend a Franco-African
summit next month may provide a more serious test for his so-called African
expertise. His intentions may be obscure for the moment, but if reports of a
deal with the British are confirmed, then the motive is clearly sinister.

      Chirac should be careful not to end up being accused of joining what
many Zimbabweans now consider to be a grand conspiracy against their
legitimate right to choose their leaders.

      To invite Mugabe to a gathering of Francophone leaders is
controversial enough. But to then do a deal with the British to continue
sanctions against the Mugabe leadership in exchange for that shows vile

      The French have always seemed reluctant to join other members in the
European Union (EU) in toughening sanctions against Mugabe and his coterie
of arrogant fellow rulers.

      This may be part of their old ideological feud with the British, but
it ignores the basic cause of the discontent against Mugabe among most

      Not only were they outraged that Mugabe's party killed, maimed and
raped innocent people to implement his hare-brained land reform programme.
In two successive elections, he and his party used violence and other
unsavoury methods to win against an opposition whose leaders would not
sanction a tit-for-tat response.Today, because of his half-baked policies,
there are more than six million people facing death from starvation in the

      The EU was unanimous in deciding to punish Mugabe and his government
for what they had done. But the cracks in this EU wall of unity have been
appearing with disturbing frequency lately. In Brussels last year, the
Belgian government inexplicably invited two ministers on the banned EU list
to attend a meeting with the African, Caribbean and Pacific group. There was
massive pressure from other EU members, particularly the British, for the
conference not to be held as long as the two men would be present.

      The venue had to be changed and although Mugabe's government hailed
this as a victory, there was no doubt that many EU members felt exactly the
same way.

      Now, it is the French who are trying to punch even bigger holes in the
EU wall of anti-Mugabe sanctions. Many Zimbabweans must be so frustrated
that they must wish the EU would abandon the sanctions altogether, instead
of continuing with this hypocrisy.

      It is not too difficult to see the hand of the South Africans and the
Nigerians in this plot to weaken even further the EU stance against the
Mugabe government. As the leaders of what many now see as the grand
conspiracy against the people of Zimbabwe, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo
have a lot to answer for.

      They have the clout to influence peaceful change now, but have spurned
it for reasons related to dark memories of the Cold War.

      Eventually, when the Zimbabwe imbroglio can no longer be solved
peacefully, the two men must bear some responsibility for the bloodshed.
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Daily News

      Police fire tear-gas at striking mine workers

      1/27/2003 4:18:11 PM (GMT +2)

      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      The police fired tear-gas to quell disturbances at Gaths Mine in
Mashava over the weekend after a workers' strike turned violent.

      Work at Shabanie and Mashava mines came to a halt last Friday when
workers at the asbestos mines downed tools over a demand for a 150 percent
pay rise . Production at the two African Associated Mines of Zimbabwe
(Private) Limited-owned mines came to a standstill as the industrial action
entered its fourth day yesterday without a solution in sight.

      Shabanie and Mashava are the country's two major asbestos producing
mines, with over 5 000 permanent workers. Management and workers have failed
to reach an agreement over the pay dispute. The workers have vowed not to go
back to work until their demands are met.

      Only workers providing essential services and artisans remained at
work but production has stopped since all miners and support staff have
joined the strike. At Gaths mine in Mashava, workers fought running battles
with the police on Friday night as the strike turned violent.

      The police fired tear-gas to disperse the angry workers. The employees
gathered at the mine entrance and blocked all roads leading to the mine.
They later stoned vehicles and looted goods from a mine shop. But the
situation was calm at Shabanie mine. A member of the workers' committee who
refused to be named for fear of victimisation said: "We want a 150 percent
salary increment and we are not going back to work until our demands are

      Engineer Gale Sibanda, the mine's general manager, said yesterday the
production lines were not running.

      Sibanda said the workers had refused to accept a 60 percent salary
increment offered by the company.

      "We gave the workers a 40 percent interim salary increment on 16
January. They later pleaded with us and we gave them an interim 60 percent
salary increment at the end of this month," said Sibanda.

      "That is when they downed tools and went back to their homes. We have
since switched off all machines and production has stopped." Engineer
Sibanda said he was waiting for the outcome of salary negotiations between
the Chamber of Mines and the Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe.

      Management at Gaths mine could not be reached for comment. By
yesterday workers had not turned up for work at the two mines which normally
operate 24 hours a day.
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Daily News

      MDC official arrested for talking to Daily News

      1/27/2003 4:22:22 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Victoria Falls

      KENNETH Gwabalanda-Mathe, an MDC official in Victoria Falls was
arrested for giving a comment to The Daily News following the arrest and
harassment of residents in the resort town in connection with the murder of
an Australian tourist.

      He was not asked to plead when he appeared before Victoria Falls
magistrate, Thembinkosi Msipa, last Friday.

      Several Victoria Falls residents, who included Gwabalanda-Mathe, were
allegedly indiscriminately harassed or assaulted by the police as they
swooped on the suspects, especially those perceived to be MDC supporters.

      Gwabalanda-Mathe and a number of other suspects, were arrested while
having a drink in a bar. He told this paper that the "massive arrests" of
the suspects was reminiscent of the Gukurahundi era in the early 1980s.

      Thousands of civilians were killed in the Matabeleland and Midlands
when the government deployed the 5 Brigade to quell a dissident insurgency
in the two regions.
      The political activist was reported as having said that the suspects
were forced to chant slogans denouncing the murder of Cain Nkala, a Bulawayo
war veteran leader who was killed in 2001.

      Gwabalanda-Mathe was arrested about two weeks ago following the
publication of the story in The Daily News on the tourist's murder and
charged under Section 12 (a) of the draconian Public Order and Security Act

      If found guilty he faces a fine of not less than $20 000 or
imprisonment for not less than two years or both fine and imprisonment.

      Gwabalanda-Mathe was granted $2 000 bail and will appear in court
again on 20 February.
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Daily News - Leader Page

      Zimbabwe cannot continue to sustain liabilities

      1/27/2003 4:27:08 PM (GMT +2)

      By Bruce Khumalo

      The Zimbabwean situation needs no introduction, what with political
mismanagement having brought the once thriving economy to its knees and the
country having literally "gone to the dogs", to quote former Rhodesian
premier Ian Smith?

      Nothing new can be really said, save maybe to comment that Smith
should be the last to pass judgments about the prevailing scenario as the
current regime is just reliving his own script. At best he can only sing:
"Same script. but different cast." But it does not take even the dullest
layman to see that things are not getting any better but, in fact, they are
growing even worse.

      The household economics speaks for itself with at least six million
people - half the population - going through a day without a single square
meal. Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube said it all when he spoke about
the death of over 160 people in Matabeleland North due to the government's
discriminatory policy of food distribution in which they are denying
opposition supporters food provided by donors such as World Vision.

      At the same time the cry for a new and people-driven constitution has
seen members of the National Constitutional Assembly being thrown in and out
of jail by a partisan police force who, ironically, are also victims of the
economic ills bedevilling the country.

      The Zimbabwe National Students' Union is now riddled with corruption
and the starving future leaders wait for an unknown tomorrow as some ageing
dictator continues to wreck the prospects that could possibly lie ahead.

      Civic society, religious leaders and the people of Zimbabwe as a whole
need to realise that they cannot continue to take a back seat and just watch
while an illegitimate regime is riding over their backs and putting paid to
any hopes of a brighter tomorrow. They are in a way unwittingly and
involuntarily endorsing the illegitimacy of the Zanu PF government that has
caused untold suffering to its own people.

      But, of course, the crucial question of the moment is: Should
discontent just mount until such a time when it occasions a spontaneous
reaction, or should the people immediately take a firm stand and boldly
declare: enough is enough?

      There is no arm of the law that can be counted upon to exercise its
mandate impartially in the face of a "Zanunised" legal system, the peak of
which has seen the Judiciary being "packed" with well-known Zanu PF
sympathisers and staunch party hard-liners. Where is the nation expected to
get any justice? Nowhere. And, as such, it is about time that they thought
about delivering their own brand of justice, which will result in the
betterment of their own welfare and future.

      There is no hope of a better change and the country is still slowly
but surely degenerating politically, socially and economically. The time for
action is now if the nation is to come out of this situation alive and with
at least a little energy to pick up the lost pieces. It's time the people
contemplated instituting wholesome change and it's time they got rid of
their nearly-cowardly ways and sought a meaningful solution out of the
present economic crisis which has seen inflation reach an all-time high of
199 percent.

      For how long will the beleaguered people of this country sit idly by
and watch while the Zanu PF-led government kills off what once was a
Southern African paradise and the envy of all the people in Africa? The
region's former breadbasket is now the region's biggest beggar. With the
government having outlawed peaceful demonstrations and simple, genuine
protests, the people need to operate on jungle laws and know that survival
today and for the future will be determined by their will and zeal to
finally make a firm resolve to chart out their future, for themselves.

      In a country were the rule of law is non-existent (where existent, it
is applied selectively), the people will be justified in framing their own
laws which will help them attain justice right to the highest level of their
own satisfaction; they are, after all, the affected and the

      The country's only meaningful opposition politicians are obviously not
made of the sterner stuff that characterises the liberation struggle and
battle-hardened loyalists of President Mugabe who, in spite of being aware
of the people's predicament, still know that they are equipped to suppress
any revolution that may so arise, they have seen it all and they have
degrees in violence, as the President of this starving nation rightly said.

      But the people are the ultimate decision-makers and even the cannon
cannot forever suppress and silence their voice.

      Furthermore, the comfort of knowing that even the ruling Zanu PF's
diehard supporters are wallowing in abject poverty will make the momentum of
the whole cause easy to gather. Zimbabwe cannot continue to sustain any
liabilities; even Zanu PF cannot sustain any liabilities in their midst.

      The Zimbabwe Football Association could no longer sustain Leo Mugabe,
not even the MDC can sustain any losers or directionless people in their
camp - Munyaradzi Gwisai being an obvious example.

      Unless Zimbabweans make a firm decision to write their own history for
themselves, then they stand to be judged harshly by future generations who
will fail to understand why everybody seemed to have been sitting on their
haunches while evil reigned.

      Zimbabweans have through their "spectatorship" let evil and abuse
perpetuate through their own inaction. There has been the wish that "things"
by now ought to have been far worse than they are so that the "politics of
the stomach" would have long prevailed upon the "patient" people of this
country to act for their own good.

      Zimbabweans don't need a clairvoyant to tell them, but it's there for
all to see. Nothing lasts forever and the deepest well runs dry. Surely by
now all should see that it's time to make a stand?

      Enough is enough.
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Daily News

      Mugabe's relative, war veterans clash over farms

      1/27/2003 4:22:01 PM (GMT +2)

      By Takaitei Bote, Farming Editor

      CHESTER Mhende, a staunch Zanu PF supporter, has admitted that he has
occupied two farms in Zvimba.

      This flies in the face of President Mugabe's declaration that the
government's policy was "one person one farm".

      Mhende is involved in a dispute with war veterans, who occupied the
land during the invasions, and the evicted farm owners. There are also
allegations that Mhende is the new owner of a farm in Ruwa.

      But he has dismissed this allegation, saying the farm was occupied by
his mother.
      Mhende, a businessman and a relative of Mugabe, claims he was given
offer letters by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
to occupy Crebilly Farm and Jonker Estates, which is a section of Marivale

      Both farms are in Zvimba, where Mhende comes from and are
strategically situated along Lake Manyame.

      Mhende participated in the Zanu PF primary elections for the 2000
parliamentary election for the Harare North Constituency and lost to Nyasha
Chikwinya, who was subsequently defeated by Trudy Stevenson of the MDC.

      Mhende said in an interview: "I have offer letters on Jonker Estates
and Crebilly Farm which are both in Zvimba. I have planted crops on both

      Asked why he was offered land on two farms, Mhende said Crebilly Farm
was only 119 hectares, while he occupied about 100ha on Jonker Estates.

      He said: "There are three of us on Jonker Estates. I realise it is an
uneconomic set-up to operate on two farms. I would have appreciated if I was
given one big farm. I have the capacity to farm on the hectarage offered to

      The former owner of Crebilly Farm, Joe Whaley, is challenging his
eviction because it was his only farm and that it is outside the criteria of
compulsory acquisition.

      According to the law, a farm below 400ha is not supposed to be
acquired as long as the owner only owns one such farm and that it is not
adjacent to communal areas.

      Mhende is involved in a legal battle with Whaley as he is allegedly
using the farm equipment without paying for it.

      Whaley, now living in Harare, alleged that Mhende was using his
equipment, including the farmhouse as well as harvesting his crops, but had
not paid him anything.

      Mhende said in a magistrates' court affidavit where he claimed to have
paid Whaley: "In mid-October I paid US$100 000 (Z$5,5 million) to the
Governor for Mashonaland West Province, Mr Peter Chanetsa, in the presence
of the Respondent (Whaley). The amount represented the purchase for the
farm, farm implements and vehicles and payment was made on a walk-in/walk
out basis."

      Contacted for comment, Chanetsa said: "I was not party to that
transaction. Why is Mhende involving me in such things, a person of my

      "In any case where did he get US$100 000 when there are serious
foreign currency shortages in the country."

      On Chanetsa's claims that he had not seen him pay Whaley, Mhende said:
"I do not want to say much about Chanetsa. He is involved in the case. He is
the farmer's agent and the two have a relationship."

      Whaley said he did not have any special relationship with Chanetsa. He
said Chanetsa only became involved when the farmer approached the governor's
offices when he was given an eviction order.

      Chanetsa is said to have told the farmer that his property should have
been delisted because it was not supposed to be acquired.

      Mhende has also clashed with war veterans who have occupied Jonker
      Settler leader on Jonker Estates, Juliet Govha, said Mhende had no
right to occupy the farm when he was not there when they invaded it in 2000.

      Govha, who is chairperson of the 400 war veterans in the area, is also
furious with Sabina Mugabe's sons, Patrick and Robert Zhuwau, for allegedly
chasing them away from farms they have occupied in the same area. Two
Chidhakwa brothers, Walter and Augustine, who are related to Mugabe, are
also allegedly displacing the war veterans.

      Sabina is President Mugabe's sister and MP for Zvimba South, where the
farms are located.
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Daily News

      Analysts rap government for downplaying economic crisis

      1/27/2003 4:20:55 PM (GMT +2)

      By Colleen Gwari Business Reporter

      ONE of the country's leading investment companies, Imara Asset
Management Zimbabwe, has accused the government of downplaying the economic
crisis, saying the central authority was trying to treat the symptom and not
the real cause of economic deterioration.

      Godfrey Homewood, a senior investment officer with Imara Asset
Management Zimbabwe, said despite the ruling Zanu PF government's desire to
go it alone, the reality on the ground would force the country back into the
global village.

      Homewood said: "Despite government's desire to go it alone, ultimately
Zimbabwe will be forced back into the global village."

      The investment analyst said the country did not have the luxury of
large deposits of oil nor indeed any commodity which could not be obtained
from other countries.

      Other economic analysts echoed Homewood's sentiments and said the new
exchange rate regulations made the country's export sector uncompetitive.

      "Labour costs, for example, based on the official exchange rate are by
far the highest in the region, as are fixed costs such as electricity and

      "Companies forced to sell their export receipts at the official rate
will, therefore, simply go out of business," said Homewood.

      The problems faced by exporters were also haunting companies that were
being forced to sell their goods at fixed prices below the cost of

      Under the recently adopted exchange control regulations, exporters are
compelled to surrender 50 percent of their foreign currency earnings to the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

      Analysts were of the opinion that the proposed wage and salary freeze
would prejudice workers, contrary to the government's projections that the
corporate world will be left with no excuse to hike prices.

      Homewood said: "Setting wages at November 2002 levels and holding them
until May 2003, when annual inflation is reaching record proportions will
cause increased suffering to an already stressed population."

      Predictably, said the analyst, government was treating the symptoms
and not the cause of the economic quagmire that the country finds itself in.

      The distortions caused by controlled prices merely created shortages,
further compounding the problem, thus giving birth to a thriving black
market and the disappearance of profits from the formal sector.

      This, in turn, would create a vicious circle for the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development as the tax base shrunk further.

      Homewood expressed concern and said: "Revenue recognition for tax
purposes on informal trading becomes a problem and with public expenditure
increasing due to inflation, a widening Budget deficit can only be met by
domestic borrowing, as donor funding is non-existent."

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Daily News - Feature

      Only the people can ensure Mugabe's safety

      1/27/2003 4:38:03 PM (GMT +2)

      By Tanonoka Hwande

      Until just recently, Tony Blair appeared intent on protecting
Zimbabweans from their wayward president, Robert Mugabe.

      There was plenty of motivation for him as his British kin were also
being murdered and were having their farms forcibly confiscated. Blair did
not succeed, of course. He was badly humiliated and withdrew. Or so I

      Now it appears the young British Prime Minister has switched sides and
would now like to protect the egocentric Mugabe, presumably from his
Zimbabwean countrymen.

      "Press reports say he (Mugabe) would go into exile in Malaysia under a
deal allegedly involving Britain." (The Daily News, 17 January, 2003.)

      It is further reported that he "would be offered immunity from
prosecution for human rights abuses".

      Excuse me, but offered "immunity from prosecution" by who? I think my
countrymen and I have something to say about this.

      Without even considering the Matabeleland atrocities, more Zimbabwean
blacks were murdered, raped, kidnapped, assaulted and maimed than whites
although "white-owned farms" became a battle cry in the British media.

      So now Britain finds it necessary and expedient to quickly forget her
murdered kin and our murdered sons and daughters. Just like that! How

      Mugabe has not admitted to any crimes nor has he asked for our
forgiveness. Who is Blair or Britain to forgive those who trespass against
us? Why be so generous and liberal with other people's emotions? From where
does Britain derive this obligation?

      Tick-tick-tick: Time is ticking away and if we are to forgive, we need
answers to some questions. A lot of questions.

      There are people here who are swollen with emotion: anger, grief,
despair and even hatred.

      Hatred is a pain-killer like no other. Hatred can keep dying souls
alive for a long time. Hatred is dangerous and real because it encases hope
for revenge.

      We need to talk. After we talk, it can only be us, Zimbabweans, from
whom forgiveness can be sought. And, sorry to say this, but the outcome is
not a foregone conclusion.

      And this is where Thabo Mbeki could - wait a minute! I mistook Mbeki
for an African statesman. You see, I am talking about people and leaders who
try to put things right things - people and leaders who may make mistakes
while they nevertheless try to normalise things.

      South Africa is important to Zimbabwe, the region and to Africa. But
it's just that the lacklustre Mbeki has unfortunately become an impediment
to our efforts to put things right in this country. The man forgot - or he
may not be aware - that being the president of South Africa places upon him
responsibilities to the region, to Africa and beyond.

      But regrettably, we do not have time to give lessons to mediocre
      Oh, yes, there is the retired South African-born Colonel Lionel Dyke
hovering in the background!

      Dyke is the mystery man who got along with all those who didn't get
along. He was Ian Smith's soldier in Southern Rhodesia. He quit for three
years before rejoining the army in 1972, a time when the Chimurenga war of
independence was gaining momentum.

      Retiring in 1990 means he served under Muzorewa as well. Of course, he
worked for Mugabe, training and commanding Mugabe's infamous Sixth Brigade.
He "masterminded" the routing of Renamo from Gorongoza. But where was Dyke
during the massacres of Chimoio and Nyadzonya? I need some answers.

      And now this man is manoeuvring to pick the next President for us. You
must be joking! We can't be so naive as to believe that Dyke only goes
mountain-climbing in South America and participates in desert marathons in
Morocco so he can pick a civilian President for our nation.

      And as for my homeboy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, he is not "a leading
contender for Mugabe's job" as The Daily News put it. A leading contender
emerges from a field of aspiring candidates. How many candidates came
forward, not put forward, from even Zanu PF itself?

      Mnangagwa is just a safe and preferred candidate for Mugabe and Dyke,
both of whom have a lot of explaining to do to the Zimbabwean people.

      Besides, Zimbabwe needs a new constitution before this great betrayal
is consummated. We cannot trust an inelectable like Mnangagwa with this
defective panel-beaten Constitution. If Mugabe had been incapacitated
through death or illness the Constitution provides for 90 days during which
Zanu PF and other political parties could use to canvass for their

      But Mugabe is negotiating for his exit and so the issue of
constitutional change should be part of those negotiations.

      I thought Britain by now had realised that picking puppets and
dictators for other nations is passe.

      What is civilisation or democracy if we do not respect the rights of
other people?
      I thank Britons for having our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters on
their soil for safe-keeping.

      But, apparently with nostalgic colonial adrenaline still flowing, the
little island still thinks it has an empire to run. No. Britain, you may not
choose or instal a leader for us! Zimbabwe is not a tree stump for the
British bulldogs.

      Zimbabweans need to be wary of deals. Governments of national unity
have to be approached with great care, especially when using a defective

      We must remember that many of those remaining in Zanu PF after Mugabe
leaves have a lot to answer for, Mnangagwa included.

      Remember that Kembo Mohadi was given the Home Affairs Ministry when
the police were still investigating his alleged involvement in a murder
case. Now he is the minister of the police!

      Zimbabwe, please be warned.

      The so-called democracies, such as the United States and Britain rant
and rave about democracy so much and so often one would think they would
never reward or protect dictators.

      But across the vast expanse of Africa, another notorious dictator is
being enticed into exile.

      Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence, was asked whether Saddam
Hussein should be offered immunity. Speaking on ABC-TV he said:

      ". . . to avoid a war I would personally recommend that some provision
be made so that the senior leadership in that country and their families
could be provided haven in some other country. And I think that could be a
fair trade to avoid war."

      So you see, to them it does not matter how many thousands a dictator
has killed or how many millions a despot has nicked from national coffers!

      To these "king makers" it is just sweeping aside the dictators so they
can have access to new opportunities in the countries in question.

      Punishing murderous dictators, it seems, is not a priority with
democratic nations.
      But if Saddam and our Robert can believe that they can live happily in
exile, they are fooling themselves.

      Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua tried it. To this day I do not know how
many pieces of his body were recovered. Those who could not forget - those
from whom forgiveness should have been sought but wasn't - did something to
him on foreign soil while in exile.
      Like Somoza, Mugabe declared from Lusaka that he "will never go into
exile. Never ever".

      And like Mugabe, Saddam in a speech on 17 January, 2003 scoffed at the
idea of going into exile. "I am going to fight," he roared.

      Talk to the people of Zimbabwe, Mugabe. Please avoid going into exile
at all costs. Exile makes a fugitive out of a person. Surely, you must
remember someone called Haile Mariam Mengistu?

      Would you like to be treated the same way you treated Mengistu after
his rather hasty flight from his motherland, Ethiopia?

      I rest my case.
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England players urge Zimbabwe switch

By David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) - England's players have urgently asked for next month's
World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Harare to be switched to South Africa
due to the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe.

"The England players urgently request the Zimbabwe match on February 13 to
be moved to South Africa," a statement by England's Professional Cricketers'
Association said on Monday. "As concern has grown over the current political
situation in Zimbabwe, the players request an urgent review of the World Cup

"Without doubt the (moral and political) issues have been weighing heavily
on players' minds. Concerns are increasing daily and it is clear the
situation in Zimbabwe is highly volatile.

"The players are greatly concerned for the welfare of the people of is very important that no-one comes to any harm because of a
cricket match in Harare."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the team have come under
pressure to pull out of the match because of Zimbabwe President Robert
Mugabe's policies, which opponents say have caused food shortages and
violence in the southern African country.

The sport's ruling body, the International Cricket Council, said after a
fact-finding mission last week that the six World Cup matches scheduled to
take place in Zimbabwe should go ahead because it was confident that
players' safety could be guaranteed.

Richard Bevan, managing director of the players' association, said ECB chief
executive Tim Lamb and ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed would meet this
week to discuss the situation again. A contingency plan for matches to be
switched has been in place since late last year.

Cricket World Cup organisers said on Monday they still expected the games in
Zimbabwe to go ahead.

"We still believe that the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe is fine,"
tournament spokesman Jos Charle said. "We have always maintained that...if
it should be found to be dangerous to the players...we would move the
matches. As matters stand, the matches will go ahead in Zimbabwe."
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Text of players' statement
27/01/2003 17:49  - (SA)

London - Text of Monday's statement by the England Professional Cricketers'
Association on England's scheduled February 13 World Cup game in Harare,

"England players urgently request the Zimbabwe match of the 13th of February
to be moved to South Africa.

As concerns within the England team grow over the current political
situation in Zimbabwe, the players have today requested an urgent review of
their scheduled match against Zimbabwe in Harare on Thursday 13th February.

Without doubt, the issues have been weighing heavily on the players' minds,
taking into account the moral, political and contractual aspects. Concerns
have been increasing daily.

As recently as Thursday 23rd January, representatives of the players and the
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), met with government officials from
the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The meeting was chaired by the
FCO's Director for Africa. It was made clear that the situation in Zimbabwe
is highly volatile.

Reading from the minutes of the meeting, recent relevant incidents include:

a.. The fire bombing of a ZANU (PF) office.
a.. The statement from the mayor that he could not guarantee security.
a.. Reports of Zimbabwean police finding an arms cache, allegedly for use by
Mugabe's opponents against England's cricketers.
a.. The approach of the opposition groups is still not clear. The Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) has said they would not publicly call for
protests, but were looking for ways to use the match to demonstrate popular
dissatisfaction with the regime.
It has also been reported that others might have similar intentions. It is
very hard to judge how this would play out on the day of the England match.
There might be big opposition demonstrations, met with a violent police
response, leading to the loss of control.

In terms of managing a demonstration, we have been advised that the
Zimbabwean police could contain small to medium disorder, but would probably
do so in a pretty brutal fashion. If there was serious disorder, the army
might be called in.

The players are greatly concerned for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe
and especially for opposition supporters, who may be targeted by the police
using brute force as indicated by the FCO. It is very important that no
Zimbabwean, or any individual, comes to any harm because of a cricket match
in Harare.

The players have appreciated the difficult position and immense pressure
that Tim Lamb, ECB chief executive, and the ECB have been under. The players
are keen to support their Board and to come to a satisfactory resolution,
but they want to urge all parties to move the fixture to South Africa and to
pay the Zimbabwe Cricket Union appropriate compensation.

The players have also received items of propaganda in both leaflet and
letter form in Australia, as have the ECB in London. This has again
highlighted the moral issues that face all parties. This perhaps was to be
expected in such a volatile political environment.

Team England players have stated: "We are all greatly concerned about the
moral, political and safety issues that the fixture in Zimbabwe has raised.
We strongly feel a fresh review should take place immediately."

There are many difficult decisions to be made in life, and in this case the
consequences could be very severe for all concerned, including players, the
ECB, the game of cricket in the UK, the rest of the cricket playing world,
and, perhaps more significantly, for Zimbabwe cricket and the people of

The World Cup organisers have indicated the fixture can be moved as late as
Sunday 9th February; therefore we are keen to take as much time as necessary
to ensure the right decision is made.

Much of the pressure on all parties could have been eased by a more decisive
Governmental role.

The Government has not taken a clear lead in this issue. There have been no
wholesale economic or trading sanctions against Zimbabwe, there are no
universal sporting sanctions and diplomatic ties have not been cut. Meetings
should have been instigated as far back as March 2002.

Following a conversation with the ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, on
Saturday 25th January, a meeting will take place this week between Malcolm
Speed, Tim Lamb and Richard Bevan to discuss all these issues." - Sapa-AP
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      Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France

      France-Africa summit / Zimbabwe
      Last update : 23/01/03

      Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
      (Paris, January 23, 2003)

      Q - What is your reaction to the outcry in the British press over the
invitation to President Mugabe to attend the France-Africa summit?

      May I remind you that article 3.3 of the common position adopted on
February 18, 2002 provides for the possibility of a waiver to the principle
of the travel ban to conduct a political dialogue aimed at promoting
democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.
      We respect the procedures laid down in such a case, and it is in this
context that we wanted to invite President Mugabe to take part in the
France-Africa summit.

      Q - But isn't that going to irritate the British?

      We understand the emotion that the question of Zimbabwe may occasion
in Great Britain many of whose citizens have or have had ties with that
country. But we are acting according to the rules in an appropriate manner.

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Mugabe backs torture claim
18.15PM GMT, 27 Jan 2003
Zimbabwe's main opposition party has accused President Robert Mugabe's
government of sanctioning the torture of its supporters, in some cases by

Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
demanded an independent judicial investigation into a tide of violence he
said had led to some 30 political murders in the country between January and
November 2002.

"Our leaders are arrested, often on trumped-up charges, in order to torture
them," Mr Tsvangirai told a news conference.

"A number of MDC party functionaries have been tortured and subsequently
died as a result."

President Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party have faced sharpening
criticism since his victory in the March 2002 presidential election, which
was branded as fraudulent by the MDC and several Western governments.

Opposition leaders have reported rising levels of harassment and
intimidation, and last week human rights watchdog Amnesty International said
police were increasingly involved in political repression.

Zimbabwean police have in the past dismissed the torture allegations, but
recently said said they were investigating claims by MDC legislator Job
Sikhala that he was tortured in custody after his January 15 arrest on
charges of plotting to overthrow Mr Mugabe's government.

Mr Sikhala told Harare's Magistrates Court that while in custody he was
clubbed, tortured with electric wires on his genitals and forced to sign a
document saying the MDC was planning an uprising against Mr Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai dismissed the police investigation as a "cover-up".

"The majority of the victims were members of the opposition. Police have
shown no interest in their cases and as a result there have not been any
arrests or prosecutions," he said.

The torture charges come while Zimbabwe grapples with its worst political
and economic crisis since President Mugabe led the country to independence
from Britain in 1980.

More than half the country's 14 million people now face severe food
shortages, blamed in part on Mr Mugabe's policy of seizing white-owned farms
for redistribution to landless blacks, while the country's unemployment rate
now stands at some 70 per cent.

Mr Mugabe has blamed the crisis on a sinister coalition of domestic and
foreign enemies, including white Zimbabweans whom he has described as
wistful for the days of colonial domination.
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The Guardian

Several EU Nations Protest Mugabe Plans

Monday January 27, 2003 5:40 PM

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - European Union foreign ministers failed to reach
agreement Monday on extending sanctions against Zimbabwe and its President
Robert Mugabe after criticizing French attempts to weaken sanctions.

Several EU nations, led by Britain, protested French plans to invite Mugabe
for an official visit next month, one day after the current sanctions

The EU nations imposed diplomatic sanctions last year because it said
Mugabe's government violated human rights and pursued policies that have led
Zimbabwe into unprecedented economic and political chaos.

France, however, wanted Mugabe to attend the Feb. 19 Franco-African summit
in Paris, arguing it would use the occasion to raise political and human
rights complaints. France also argues other African nations would boycott
the summit if Mugabe was not invited.

It made the request to its EU partners last Friday and by Monday, Britain,
Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands had raised official protests.

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who chaired Monday's meeting of EU
foreign affairs, acknowledged a split among EU nations in trying to get
agreement on extending the sanctions for another year. EU foreign ministers
have to reach a decision before Feb. 18, when the current sanctions expire.

``We have tabled some possible way forward to get consensus,'' Papandreou
told reporters, adding that if no agreement was reached, the EU may have to
cancel an upcoming EU-Africa leaders summit scheduled for April 5 in Lisbon,

Papandreou said EU ambassadors would try to reach a deal in the weeks ahead.
A Greek proposal Monday to exempt Mugabe from the travel ban for the Paris
meeting was met with opposition from Britain and the three others.

Officials said however that reaching a deal would be tough, noting French
Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin demanded a more ``flexible''
sanctions regime against Mugabe.

``We invited Mr. Mugabe to Paris and we hope he comes,'' de Villepin said.
``We should apply flexible sanctions,'' he added, saying that only through
direct talks could the EU try to bring about change in Zimbabwe.

The EU is likely to continue some sort of ban on senior Zimbabwe officials
traveling to Europe, officials said. The EU was also set to keep an arms
export ban in place.

The EU imposed the visa and arms bans last year and froze Zimbabwean assets
in Europe after failing to get Mugabe to improve human rights and reverse
policies that have created a massive food crisis in a country that was once
southern Africa's breadbasket.

Mugabe has cracked down on the independent press, the judiciary, opposition
officials and human rights workers in recent years.
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Supreme Court Reserves Judgment On Todd Case

The Herald (Harare)

January 27, 2003
Posted to the web January 27, 2003


THE Supreme Court has reserved judgment in an application by the
Registrar-General, Mr Tobaiwa Mudede, seeking an order reversing the High
Court decision compelling him to renew the expired passport of Zimbabwean
born Ms Judith Todd.

The court reserved judgment in the matter in which the Minister of Home
Affairs is listed as the second appellant to consider the submissions made
by both counsels.

Last year, Ms Todd successfully challenged Mr Mudede at the High Court to
have her expired passport renewed.

She had been refused by Mr Mudede to renew her Zimbabwean passport after it
had expired on the basis she had not renounced her entitlement to New
Zealand citizenship.

The lower court ruled in Ms Todd's favour saying she was a citizen of this
country and that she could not be stripped of her citizenship.

Through his lawyer, Mr Simplicius Chihambakwe of Chihambakwe Mutizwa and
Partners, Mr Mudede is seeking the decision of the lower court to be
nullified claiming that the court had misdirected itself in its judgment.

Mr Chihambakwe, in his submissions, told the court that Ms Todd lost her
Zimbabwean citizenship in terms of the Zimbabwe Citizenship Act, hence, she
was not entitled to a Zimbabwean passport.

Since both her parents were both born in New Zealand, Mr Chihambakwe said Ms
Todd became a New Zealand citizen, according to the law of that country.

"Thus the respondent held dual citizenship - and it was not a question of
the respondent having a claim to New Zealand citizenship, but was a New
Zealand citizen," said Mr Chihambakwe alluding to "the British Nationality
and New Zealand Act 1948".

He said Ms Todd was a New Zealand citizen by descent and had not renounced
it in terms of the law of that country.

But in his response, Advocate Adrian de Bourbon who was instructed by Mr
Bryant Elliot of Gill Godlonton and Gerrans argued the appeal was devoid of
merit and urged the court to dismiss it with costs.

In his heads of argument, Adv de Bourbon stated that the Citizenship of
Zimbabwe Act does not require a person who has a claim to a foreign
citizenship (which he has not exercised) from renouncing that claim.

"The provision clearly only requires the renunciation of a foreign
citizenship actually held," said Adv de Bourbon. He said his client does not
hold the citizenship of any other country but of Zimbabwe, her country of

Ms Todd, the senior counsel said, was entitled as a constitutional right to
be issued with a passport by Mr Mudede so long as she remained a citizen of
this country.

Adv de Bourbon said that the foreign law alluded to by Mr Chihambakwe could
not persuade the superior court to reverse the High Court decision arguing
it was without foundation.

"What is persuasive is the manner in which a legal principle of law has been
dealt with by judges in other countries, not whether or not a particular set
of facts give rise to legal consequence in some jurisdiction," said Adv de
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The MDC views with concern the rising cases of torture perpetrated by the unpopular Zanu PF regime on our MPs, councillors, party officials and activists.


We call upon the regime to desist forthwith its dastardly actions, all designed to cow the people and destroy the MDC. For the past three years, the regime has implemented a sustained campaign of brutality against our officials and the population at large.


Our leaders are arrested often  on trumped up charges in order to torture them. A number of MDC party functionaries have been tortured and subsequently died as a result. Just recently Stephen Chasara and Davies Mtetwa both members of the Chitungwiza MDC executive died within three months of each other as a result of the torture inflicted upon them while in police custody.

Hundreds of others have suffered the same fate since the formation of our party in September 1999.


The record speaks for itself. The High Court has in a number of cases established the widespread use of violence, torture and intimidation of MDC officials before and after the 2000 parliamentary. The Court nullified the results in seven constituencies for that, and other reasons.


The latest examples of tortured officials include Abednico Bhebe, MP for Nkayi, Job Sikhala, MP for the St Marys  in Chitungwiza; Paurina Mpariwa, MP for Mufakose in Harare; Paul Madzore MP for Glen View, also in Harare. They are among 1 060 activists who were tortured between January and November last year.  Many go unreported. You will also recall the case of Justin Mutendadzamera and his family in Mabvuku, Harare. They were brutally tortured by the police and the army.


Another 227, including women and young boys and girls, were abducted and beaten, 111 unlawfully detained, 170 were simply picked up in the middle of the night by the police, tortured and were later released without charge.


Torture is a crime against humanity.


From 1 January 2002 to 30 November 2002, violence monitors and human rights groups recorded 30 murders throughout the country. There were nine attempted murders. The majority of the victims were members of the opposition. Police have shown no interest in their cases and as a result there has not been any arrests or prosecutions.


Against this background, it sickening to hear the Mugabe regime’s latest announcement that the police have set up a team to investigate the latest case involving Honourable Job Sikhala. 


We demand a judicial commission of inquiry into torture in Zimbabwe. We believe such a commission should chaired by Judge, preferably a retired Judge.


The commission must hear public testimonies from survivors of state-sanctioned torture. The majority are willing to come forward and tell their stories.

The commission must make recommendations on the basis of the full disclosure of the state of decay in the law enforcement system in this country.


Torture has become the order of the day. The levels are deepening as the regime’s fascist programme entrenches itself. People are being tortured systematically. Torture is being carried out with impunity against the opposition at all levels every where, from Muzarabani to Binga, right through to Harare and Bulawayo.


The latest, so-called police investigation is an attempt to cover up the serious human rights abuses being committed on the people of Zimbabwe through torture.


The scheme is so deep that only a judicial commission of inquiry can get to the bottom of the matter.


Some members of our partisan police force have become a major part of the deteriorating  security problem in this country. They are openly brutalising their brothers and sisters in the defence of collapsing regime.


The police are also known to be working together with Zanu PF militias and the so-called war veterans to brutalise the people, especially members of the MDC.


 Whenever there is a by-election anywhere in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe deploys rowdy elements of his party in the various constituencies. They set up what they call their bases where the prime activity is to abduct and torture opposition activists, with the blessing of the police. This happens in broad daylight under the direction of the CIO and military intelligence operatives.


We know of the inhuman and brutal torture tactics of police officers Dhliwayo, Sikova, Masvimbo, Mavangira, Mutema, Mathema, Makedenge, Dowa, Maranji, Jowa, Chogugudza, Masvongo, Mabunda, Musariri, Muchaonyererwa, Moyo, Khumalo, Detete, Kawasekera, Ngirande, Sibanda, Mukoki, Mashavave, Tsvarai, Spencer Nyatsine and many others. In fact, we have a comprehensive list of all the brutes in our midst.


Together with known officers from the military intelligence, the CIO and Support Unit, police officers in Harare, Bulawayo and many other towns and cities are leading the torture programme against the opposition.  You have all heard of Joseph Mwale in Manicaland.


Our message to them is that we know you very well.  We appeal to your friends, your close relatives and families to restrain you. You must guard against your continued abuse by a dying regime. Think about the future.


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